Since the late 80s, the CSC has been leading the Philippine government in promoting gender equity, be it in policy-making and implementation or technical assistance. Its strong background in gender advocacy is reflected in the landmark laws it has supported and in GAD milestones throughout three decades:
• Establishment of the Commission Day Care Center. This innovation helped mothers focus on their work at the absence of extra worry for their children who could instead be left at home.
• Enforcement of a full flextime schedule. CSC Memorandum Circular No. 14 allows employees to start and end work at a time convenient to them provided that the same shall not be prejudiced to the prompt and efficient delivery of service.
• Implementation of the Equality Advocates program or EQUADS. The Equads program promotes equality of treatment and opportunities in the workplace by eliminating discrimination due to gender, ethnic or social origin, religious belief, physical disability or political affiliation.
• Designation of Trained Equality Advocates in 14 administrative regions of the country. These EQUADS look into cases of discrimination, answer queries, offer advice and provide counseling to aggrieved employees.
• Revisiting of Maternity leave benefits. As stipulated in CSC Memo Circular No. 17, s. 1991 the Maternity Leave Law was modified to allow a woman the option to return to her work before the expiration of her two-month leave. This adjustment will allow her to receive the benefits granted under the Maternity Leave law and the salary for actual services rendered effective the day she reports for work.
• Promulgation of the anti-sexual harassment policy in the workplace (Memo Circular No. 19). The said circular defined anti-sexual harassment policy in the workplace. The said circular defined sexual harassment and characterized it as an administrative offense that may be categorized as Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service of Simple Misconduct.
• Involvement of public sector unions for Project Talaan. Talaan paved the way for the drawing up of a checklist of reasonable working conditions that enhance employee productivity. Health and sanitation, security and safety, overtime services, leave privileges and working hours were among the areas considered in the checklist.
• CSC’s participation in Career Advancement Program for Women in Government Service (CAPWINGS). This program sought to promote the advancement of women in government through a three-pronged strategy: capability-building and advocacy, policy strengthening and/or development, and enhancement of support mechanisms.
• Expansion of leave privileges. The Commission, through Memorandum Circular No. 6, granted state employees special leave privileges to enable them to attend to milestones of their lives such as graduation, enrollment, anniversary, birthday. (plus funeral, hospitalization and relocation)
• Grant of Paternity Leave. To complement the maternity leave enjoyed by women, CSC jointly penned with the Department of Health the policy granting paternity leave. This privilege is granted to a married male employee, allowing him to take a leave for seven days with pay to enable him to lend support and care for his wife in her period of recovery, either after delivery or miscarriage, and in taking care of the newly-born.
• Development of Primer on Women in Government Service. This was done to provide information on the plans, programs, social benefits, privileges and career opportunities for women government workers. Said information material was distributed to various government workers, the Commission developed a Primer on Women in Government Service. Said information materials were distributed to various government agencies and GAD focal persons.
• Calling for equal representation of women and men in the third level positions. Addressing the need to level the playing field, the Commission issued in 1999 a directive (CSC Memorandum Circular No. 8) calling for equal representation of women and men in the third level positions in government to promote gender equality. Corollary to the move of supporting the appointment of women to crucial posts in government, a Directory of Women on the Move was produced, also in 1999. The Directory is a compilation of organized and strategic information about qualified women for vacancies in the Cabinet and other executive positions.
• Intensification of GAD efforts. The CSC continued to intensify its efforts in the pursuit of GAD. By early 2000, it has integrated GAD perspectives in the most visible of its programs – the conduct of civil service tests. Through the Examination, Recruitment and Placement Office, CSC implemented GAD initiatives via two methods:
1. the use of indirect approach in which GAD concepts, issues and statistics are used as scenarios or situations in test items, regardless of the areas being measured; and,
2. the use of non-sexist language in all test items. Orientation programs for special examiners on the use of non-sexist language in the construction of test items were likewise conducted, complemented by the production of a mini-handbook.
• Organization of WAG. Women occupying senior-level managerial positions in government organized themselves as Women Executives Against Graft (WAG). The group was formed during a woman’s forum organized by the CSC, the Philippine Commission on Women or PCW (formerly National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women or NCRFW), and the Career Executive Service Board. WAG aims to build a critical mass of government offices that are graft and corruption free.
• Formulation of the Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment Cases. Considered a landmark issuance of the CSC, the new Rules provide for the consistent and uniform rules of procedure in investigating, prosecuting and resolving sexual harassment cases in government cases. Presented to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the new rules harmonized the provisions of Republic Act No. 7877 otherwise known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 and CSC Memo Circular No. 19, s. 1994. The new rules paved the way for the protection of women and men in government as well as the creation of a healthy working environment.
• Publication on SH. The Commission, through the Office for Legal Affairs and in partnership with the PCW, came up with two publications: Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Bureaucracy: A Manual; and Sexual Harassment Cases: A Compendium. The Manual on Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Bureaucracy presents in detail the legal bases of the anti-sexual harassment law and discusses the new administrative rules on sexual harassment. It provides the general principles to be followed when resolving such cases and presents a step-by-step procedure in handling complaints. It also underscores the accountability of the agency head in monitoring and ensuring that sexual harassment cases are properly and decisively addressed.
• Creation of CODI. Among the salient provisions of the Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment is the creation of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) in all government agencies. The CODI shall be responsible for receiving and investigating sexual harassment complaints. Capability-building programs were designed for those who will conduct training programs on the anti-sexual harassment rules and policies. The training manual, with two versions prepared each for the trainer and the participant, was pilot tested in 2003 in Manila and Cebu. Complementary initiatives include the production and dissemination of communication support materials such as posters, stickers and comic books.
• Production of Compendium on Sexual Harassment Cases which contains CSC, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court decisions on sexual harassment.
• Granting of maternity leave benefits to women, whether married or unmarried. Pursuant to the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2002 which directs government to develop a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children, the Commission granted maternity leave benefits to women, whether married or unmarried. Previously, only married women were given maternity leave privileges. Also, the Commission issued a directive granting seven (7) days of parental leave to solo parents in recognition of their parental responsibilities and obligations.
• Establishment of training on SH. A memorandum of agreement was signed with the Department of Education for the conduct of training on sexual harassment organized by the Office for Personnel Management and Development.
• Celebrating Women’s Month. Employees have also began to look forward to the celebration of Women’s Month in March as a host of activities are lined by OPMD. These activities include physical check up (pap smear and mammogram exams for women and prostrate exams for men), mass calisthenics, parenting workshops, film showing, and “piknik sa kalikasan.”
• Development of GST. The Commission through the Human Resource Development Office, developed a training design on Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) Program. The program aims to enhance awareness and deeper understanding of gender concepts and the manifestations of gender bias. The GST program was also pilot-tested during the year.
• Passing of Anti-SH rules and policies. Despite the inroads made in promoting anti-sexual harassment rules and policies, the Commission assumed still an active role in advocating for the passage of law that ends violence against women (VAW). CSC’s efforts bore fruit as the law was eventually passed. The next logical step is the formulation of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), in which task the Commission is an active participant.
• Creation of GANG. To strengthen GAD mainstreaming in the CSC, a core of GAD advocates was constituted at the central and regional offices. The Gender and Networking Group (GANG), which is voluntary and official in nature, is envisioned to serve as a formidable voice of people working in unison towards the promotion of gender and development.
• Implementation of 10-Day leave benefit. CSC Resolution No. 05-1206 was issued, containing the Guidelines on the Availment of the 10-day leave under Republic Act No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004). The said edict entitles any female employee in the government service regardless of employment status, who is victim of violence or any woman employee whose child is a victim of violence to a paid leave of absence not exceeding ten days. Prepared by the Personnel Relations Office and the Office for Legal Affairs, the resolution states as well documents to be submitted to avail of the leave privilege.
• Participation in the IAC-VAWC. The Commission, through PRO, actively participated in the meetings of the Interagency Council on the Violence Against Women and their Children, providing invaluable assistance in the 16-Day Campaign in the elimination of violence against women. PRO prepared the ten-panel photo exhibit which will be mounted in different government agencies during the campaign.
• Launching of GKA. In the spirit of recognizing CSC officials and employees’ significant contribution in pushing for GAD, the CSC launched the Gawad Kawayan awards in 2008. It has since held the awards program every year. Through this program, CSC aims to recognize and celebrate outstanding contribution of individuals, offices and GANG members in the CSC Central Office in Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming efforts to achieve gender equality in the CSC and the bureaucracy.
• Passing of MCW. Perhaps the most significant development in GAD in 2009 is the passing of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) into law. The MCW further solidifies the fight against violence against women, and upholds the goal of gender equity in the Philippines. Considered as a landmark law, the MCW embodies the spirit and letter of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which recognize the rights and freedoms of all women, particularly the marginalized. The Act is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2396 and House Bill No. 4273 which was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 19, 2009 and May 20, 2009, respectively. It was signed into law by President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo on August 14, 2009.
• Marking the second year of GKA
• Studying and promoting MCW
• Developing the gender advocacy group. The GANG was also renamed as the Gender and Development Advocates or GADvocates. To effectively carry out its functions, the group was divided into six committees namely: Capability-Building Committee, Benefits and Intervention Committee, Events Management Committee, Public Relations/External Affairs Committee, Research and Policy Review Committee, and Membership and Ethics Committee. To ensure that members of the GADvocates are themselves well-equipped with gender-related issues, the GAD Secretariat organized a continuing education program, featuring a monthly session on different facets of GAD.
• Establishing CSC Referral System on VAWC. In line with the implementation of Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-VAWC Act, the CSC, as a member of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Children (IACVAWC) has been tasked to formulate programs and projects to eliminate VAW. IACVAWC has since then set up assistance programs and services for VAWC victims. CSC’s contribution is the establishment of a referral system that would it to link with institutions that can provide victims with assistance such as temporary shelters, legal counseling, psycho-social counseling services, recovery rehabilitation programs, and livelihood assistance. Guidelines were issued and GAD focal persons were oriented and trained for the said endeavor.
• Continuing Learning and Education (CLE) for CSC GADvocates. A series of CLE sessions were offered to GADvocates to help them keep abreast with the latest in GAD issues. Sessions in gender and media, VAWC-related laws and cases, MCW, women and religion, among others, were held at the CSC Function Room.
• Adding Breastfeeding Facility to Day Care Center. CSC’s Day Care Center was equipped with a breastfeeding station to cater to the needs of nursing mothers.
• Offering scholarships in Gender and Development through the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRDOF). CSC personnel were sent to Australian universities through scholarships in the field of Gender and Development. Their Re-Entry Action Plan are used to support CSC’s gender advocacy efforts.
• Strengthening VAWC Referral System Implementation. The Commission undertook the Commission-wide implementation of VAWC Referral System to strengthen the GAD mechanisms and support system to employee victim-survivors of gender-based violence to ensure their recovery and reintegration. This program also serves to strengthen partnerships within different government entities. There is an existing pool of focal persons capacitated to manage the Referral System in the Central and Regional Offices
• Incorporating Gender Into CSC’s HR Initiatives. The CSC mainstreamed gender concerns in the Career Service Examination through orientation of Special Examiners and development of test questions as part of the test bank and in the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in HRM (PRIME-HRM) integrating gender-based indicators.
• Participating in Crafting the Women’s EDGE Plan. The CSC participated in policy making, implementation, and advocacy initiatives with the Committee on Women and Gender Equality (CWGE), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and different institutions on the enhancement and furtherance of gender-related bills and policies and crafting of Women's Empowerment, Development, and Gender Equality (Women's EDGE) Plan which is a time slice of the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development (PPGRD).
• Training CSC Office Correspondents’ Network (CNet) in gender advocacy. CSC’s group of information officers nationwide, collectively called CNet, were trained gender responsive communication and gender advocacy, linking their work with that of the CSC GADvocates. Linking CSC’s communication and gender initiatives strengthens its capability to engage its own employees and to continue promoting gender equity among government agencies.
• Participating the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfa) country report preparation. The CSC through the GADvocates participated in the Technical Working Groups for the Philippines Report bearing the country’s contributions to Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA). GADvocates participated in the TWGs for women and armed conflict, women and health, women and media, women and leadership, and women and the environment. The CSC also chaired the TWG on women and leadership, and actively participated in the generation of reports for the rest of the TWGs.